Canada’s immigration policy is still based on the colonial notion that immigration was necessary to build the country up to a viable size. 150 years ago that was true.

But it is 2016 and Canada now faces the same realities that countries, which were immigrant sources in the 18th and 19th centuries, once did. In those cases, a declining resource base and a growing population forced waves of emigrants to leave their homes. Our situation is not remotely as dire but the trend is the same.

Canada has matured and currently over-exploits many of its resources. The simple grow-forever ethic of the past no longer applies.

What is different in the 21st century?

  • environmental decline
  • diminished resources
  • climate change
  • entrenched high unemployment
  • growing inequality
  • massive and crowded cities

The policies of the 19th century are completely out of step with our changing reality. Maintaining a large pool of working poor, while paving over our best agricultural lands were once looked upon as unavoidable costs of growth during our adolescent past. But the mounting collateral damage of simple growth is no longer acceptable in a time when sustainability and social progress are national goals.

A modern society preserves its environmental assets and develops it’s people. Exactly the reverse of a growth-oriented society.

No nation can pursue a growth-forever policy. Canada must change from following that colonial mantra to establishing the more advanced and responsible policies of a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable nation.